It probably sounds strange to have chili fries for dinner, but that’s only because restaurant culture says that chili fries are an appetizer or side dish. But really, a hearty chili paired with a side of fries is a satisfying meal in itself.
This is more of a how-to, because the components of this meal are pretty straightforward. I just had never thought of putting them together quite like this. The chili here is my usual go-to chili: Rachael Ray’s Turkey Chipotle Chili with Pepper Jack Cheese Corn Cake Toppers (without the corn cakes). It’s a relatively fancy chili, not something you’d use to top fries with. I also like that it’s a turkey-based chili – it’s slightly less fatty than beef, so it gives that extra wiggle room on the cheese sauce. The only change I made to the recipe was making the sauce slightly thicker – I used only a cup of the chicken stock. I figured this would work better when combined with the fries and cheese sauce.
Because I made the cheese sauce from scratch, I decided to take a shortcut on the fries, by just using frozen fries from the supermarket. (I also had a couple of half-bags leftover, so this was an excuse to use them up.) If you had the time, though, I think it would be excellent to oven-roast your own potato wedges for this.
And that leaves the cheese sauce. Normally for chili-cheese fries you get an over-processed, Velveeta-style cheese sauce that oozes over the chili like a fatty, yellow lava flow. Instead of that, I decided to make a cheese sauce from scratch, pulling elements from both chili (cumin, chili powder) and fondue (beer). The recipe for the sauce is after the break.
In assembling this, I put some fries on the bottom, drizzled a bit of the cheese sauce on top, then a healthy serving of the chili, and then a bit more cheese sauce on top of that. Eat with a knife and fork. It was awesome.